In his introduction to The Princess Bride, WilliamGoldman states the story was actually written by S. Morgenstern and that hisfather read it to him when he was a child sick with pneumonia. When Goldmantracked down the book for his own son, he was shocked to discover the writtenversion was different from what his father had told. Goldman decided to edit theparts his father left out, leaving a version of the book both children and adultscould enjoy.
The heroine is a girl named Buttercup. In the first chaptershe goes from hating her farmhand, Westley, to loving him wildly, in a fineexample of her indecisive character. Westley goes overseas to find work and builda good life for Buttercup. When she hears Westley has died, she agrees to marryPrince Humperdinck, though she will always love Westley. The plot unfolds withmany twists and turns.
This book is well-written in many ways. The authorspends a lot of time developing the characters, each with a distinct personality,which helps readers understand their actions.
Goldman also describes thesetting of the novel, giving places vivid names such as The Cliffs of Insanityand The Zoo of Death. The highlight is the author's commentaries. Throughout thenovel Goldman interjects when he feels the reader may have missed something orjust to keep us on our toes. These remarks make the book more personal becausethe reader feels the author is speaking to us.
The only negative part ofthe book is that it takes a long time to get started. The first 30 pages describewhy Goldman wrote it, which is only somewhat interesting. Once the actual storybegins there are five pages discussing all the beautiful women in the world. Whenthe reader gets past that, the plot picks up and the reader is drawnin.
Overall, The Princess Bride is very good. It is full of action,adventure and romance, and is written so that both adults and children will enjoyit. Every time a person reads it, he or she can take away something different.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.